As more companies continue to expand the “connected tool” market — and the innovation across the board has been very exciting. Some people really like the ability to program their own tools, lock them remotely, or find them when misplaced — but General Tools has come out with a new line that actually addresses a real problem, and they are creating real solutions.
Last month we announced the new ToolSmart lineup of tools, which are unique in the fact that they not only will work when connected to your phone/tablet — they also work as standalone units (at the same price as the “non-smart” competition). The initial 4 tools included a Digital Angle Finder, Inspection Scope, Laser Distance Measure, and (this) Digital Multimeter.
After using them extensively over the last two months, these have been the “go-to” tools that we typically grab, and the performance has been excellent from the start. Connecting each to the iPhone is as simple as turning on Bluetooth & opening up the app — pressing “connect” pairs the tool & phone almost instantly.
Measuring AC or DC voltage is the first setting on the dial — and the unit is “auto-ranging”. Meaning that once you turn it on & select AC or DC, the meter does the rest. Unlike older styles that require you to manually set the range that you are working with, this one will automatically sense the input voltage and show it immediately on the screen.
The Ohm setting (like the voltage setting) is also auto-ranging. This lets you test resistance quickly, and without having to swap between modes to find the right one. We tested some coils off of a Lincoln, and using the readings could verify the acceptable range in the shop manual.
A primary use of most multimeters is testing continuity. This could be to verify a fuse is functioning as it should, a switch is cutting on/off, or even that a lightbulb is burnt out. The meter has an audible alert (meaning if you hear a beep, there is continuity) — and since it beeps, you really wouldnt need to watch the meter when testing multiple things (like fuses under a dashboard). If you hear the beep, move on!
One thing that has stood out about the Multimeter is how useful using it remotely has been — specifically since we can see (in real-time) what the readings are, and dont have to continually walk back to it when diagnosing electrical issues on vehicles. This has always been a big time-waster, and with the TS04 Multimeter that has been all but eliminated.
Previously we would have to use two people (one working & one reading the meter) or run extra-long leads under the hood and onto the windshield to verify voltages. Now, it is as simple as holding the phone in one hand & leaving the multimeter out-of-sight. Since it is connected, the readings instantly stream to the app & we see live data the whole time.
Included is a K-type thermocoupler. This will allow you to take temperature readings with the end of the probe — and is ideal for testing HVAC unit efficiency (supply & return lines), water temps, or finding overloaded circuits. (Note – Although the unit has a max range of -4F – 1,832F — the included coupler has a max range of -4 – 500F — to utilize max potential, a replacement coupler is needed).
For the DIYer/Homeowner, they also included a 9v Battery & 1.5v Battery mode. With these is auto-sets the meter to DC voltage & placing the probes against the positive/negative battery terminals, you instantly see what the voltage is & can determine if the batteries are dead or still in good condition.
Like any higher-end multimeter, the TS04 has a wide range of settings. It can read AC & DC voltage (auto-ranging), temperature, ohms, continuity, and amperage. It is definitely a great “all-around” meter, and with the Bluetooth connectivity it makes it extremely versatile. Since this is only $50, whether you are a DIYer or Pro — this would be a good addition to your toolbox.
Check out the full video review to see it in action!